African leaders and invited partner organisations will later this month converge in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa for the 26th African Union (AU) summit.
From 21 January, the leaders will meet under the theme “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”, which is seen as an opportunity to consolidate the gains, ensure better coordination of human rights bodies on the continent and move towards the establishment of a true human rights culture on the continent.
The 26th AU Summit will officially start with the 31st Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on Monday, 21 January 2016, which will be attended by ambassadors.
For three days, the ambassadors will consider the reports of the various activities of their sub-committees, including the advisory sub-committee on administrative, budgetary and financial matters.
They will also deliberate on the report of the sub-committee on contributions, economic and trade matters, NEPAD and the Special Emergency Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa.
The PRC will deliberate and make recommendations on these and other matters, and forward them to the Executive Council of Foreign Ministers, who will meet on 27 – 28 for their 28th Ordinary Session before submission to the assembly of the union for adoption.
The Executive Council of Foreign Ministers will convene to deliberate on the different items on their agenda, including the consideration of the report of the PRC, as well as look at the progress report of the Ministerial Committee on the Challenges of Ratification/Accession and Implementation of the OAU/AU Treaties and the follow up committee on Agenda 2063.
Some of the highlights of the Executive Council meeting will be the election and appointment of the 15 members of the Peace and Security Council and one member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC).
The 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union is scheduled to take place on 30 – 31 January 2016.